Friday, September 19, 2008

A Perk to Cleaning Naturally

Marlee opened the cabinet under the bathroom sink while I was brushing my teeth this morning. I jumped to get her out of it and realized...nothing under there can hurt her! Not that I want her eating baking soda (a serious bellyache), but what wonderful peace of mind to know my baby won't find anything toxic in my house!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

NY Senator Nearly Hits, Then Curses Cyclist

He picked the wrong cyclist. Read it here.

Cleaning Mattress and Pillows/ Eco"Febreze"

To freshen fabric, try this eco-safe, DIY recipe:

Fill a standard spray bottle with water
Add 6-8 drops Tea Tree oil
and 6 drops Essential Oil (your choice!) or
3 drops Fragrance Oil

Spray fabric until damp and allow to air-dry.

I did some fall deep cleaning yesterday and thought I'd pass along my tips for cleaning mattresses and pillows.

Vacuum the mattress with your vac's upholstery attachment
(Flip and rotate while you're at it :))
Spray mattress and pillows with the concoction above. You want your mattress upholstery to be good and damp, but not wet to the foam. You can wash any spots with your homemade all-purpose cleaner if necessary.
Put pillows, two at a time, in the dyer on high heat for 30-45 minutes. This will kill any lingering dust mites.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

PVC: The Poison Plastic

This is clever and cute :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What IS on my Grocery List?

Thanks, Jana, for bringing attention to this question. It reminded me that the point of my blog isn't to boast my accomplishments but to help others on the path to living healthier and greener :)

Grocery shopping has been tough for me. I stay at home with our one year old, and Michael works from home...that means three meals a day (and snacks!) for three people. That's a lot of cooking! For obvious reasons, I was tempted by "convenience foods." I've remedied that situation by planning and preparing ahead as much as possible. My freezer is my sous chef (at least until I get the energy star deep freezer I'm pining for).

  • It's filled with pre-measured quantities of chopped vegetables, purees, broths and wine. For easy freezing, use these tools: An ice cube tray (1 cube = approx. 2Tbs), a muffin tin (each "muffin" = 1/2 cup) and/or mini muffin tin (1/4 cup). Freeze, pop 'em out, store in freezer bags (which you wash and reuse...right?)
  • I also cook once for two meals...Last night's beef stew recipe was doubled, then half of it frozen.
  • Another favorite shortcut: Prepare batter for muffins, quick breads, etc. Pour into loaf pan or muffin cups and freeze. When frozen, wrap unbaked bread and store unbaked muffins in freezer bags. When you want a batch, drop them back in the proper pan and bake.
  • A similar trick works for casseroles, etc. line the dish you'll use to bake with foil, leaving plenty of excess. Pour in your leftovers (like my stew) or assemble your casserole. Wrap your excess foil over the top and freeze. When your dinner is frozen, remove your "brick." Now your dish/pan is free for use. Just unwrap your brick and drop it back in when you're ready to resurrect it.

To answer your question and prove it CAN be done, here's this week's menu (Monday-Friday) :

(note: I am currently obsessed with tweaking the recipes in the Deceptively Delicious cookbook)


1. Scrambled eggs with "hidden" cauliflower, toast, fruit
2. Oatmeal flavored with your choice of fruit puree
3. Pumkin french toast, fruit
4. Oatmeal again
5. Green (read: spinach puree) Eggs, toast, fruit


1. Sanwiches, Veggie chips (had these already), fruit
2. Vegetarian Rice Balls
3. Meatball Soup
4. Homemad Mac N Cheese with butternut squash puree
5. Chili


1. Spaghetti and Salad
2. Beef Stew over Brown Rice
3. Turkey Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus
4. Black Bean Burgers, Corn, Salad
5. Chicken Quesadillas

Carrot Applesauce muffins
Zucchini Bread
Fresh Fruit and Cheese
Whole Wheat Crackers with Almond Butter
Plain yogurt flavored with fruit puree

You can do it! It takes some getting used to, and I still fall off the wagon, but I don't feel bad about the occaisional Chick-Fil-A when I know I feed my family well 99% of the time!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Progress on the Grocery Front

I just had to give myself some props for my latest grocery trip. The only packaged foods I bought were whole-wheat crackers, Panko bread crumbs, and canned beans. This is major progress for me!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

MAJOR RAVE: Medicine Man Ointment

At a local arts and crafts festival yesterday, I bought some goodies from Pretty Baby Naturals. They sell all natural soaps, lotions and potions. One of my favorite finds is Medicine Man Ointment. Made with tea tree oil, neem oil, aloe, and healing herbs, it's antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral.

About an hour after I bought it, I was so glad I did. I was on the lookout for a quiet spot to nurse MJ and found a tree stump in a shady area. Not 30 seconds after sitting down, I felt like acid had been poured on my feet. The stump was rotten and home to a massive colony of fire ants. My mom had been standing in front of me to shield me for a bit of privacy, and she was bitten too. I jumped up and ran away (baby still on breast, which, looking back, is pretty funny). My sister had helped us get all the ants off...fortunately, none had gotten MJ. Our feet were red, swollen, and felt like they were on fire. I remembered the Medicine Man, fished it out of my bag, and slathered my feet...INSTANT RELIEF. It was truly amazing.

Later that afternoon, I went back to the Pretty Baby booth and bought two more tubes. This will replace Neosporin and the Benadryl pen in my medicine cabinet and diaper bag. Natural and it works better than conventional methods? You know I love me some of that!

Buy some. You'll thank me later.

Friday, September 5, 2008

TV Commercials Promoting HFCS

Have you seen these?


I especially like the corn logo at the end. They might as well say, "It's corn. It counts as a vegetable serving."

According to these commercials, HFCS is "fine in moderation." Many things in life are fine in moderation. Problem is, there is nothing moderate about American consumption of HFCS. It's in nearly every commercial product we buy...even a loaf of bread. Go ahead, check your labels. Then look up the dangers of HFCS. I planned to list them, but frankly, I don't have enough time in my day. Folks, HFCS is bad for you. No question about it. Educate yourself, don't let TV do it for you.

A couple closing tidbits.

1. Watch this while you're at it, just for fun.
2. How do you pack a popsicle on a picnic?